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Time to jump back in?

Friday, March 07, 2014

I rode my bike a few times this week, so my body can handle aerobic exercise. The thing is, I really need to get back into the pool. I took that lesson a week ago, and every day I delay makes it more difficult to replicate what Coach Kathy taught me.

I have a bit of an ear ache. I will not go back into Pool 1. It's going to be difficult to schedule a workout this weekend. We have lots of yardwork planned this weekend. I need to prepare pretzel dough for Sunday. (The kids at church will be making pretzels. It's a Lenten tradition.) We lose an hour of sleep Saturday night. And because of the weather, I've suggested the Hubs and I drive out to Palouse Falls State Park after church so he can take pictures. Our mountains got tons of snow last weekend, then it rained a few days later, and it's warm. Lots of melting snow = amazing waterfalls down river. And here is a picture of Palouse Falls: www.flickr.com/photos/lindarb21/6274
This is NOT my picture. Palouse Falls is 196' tall. And amazing!

The drive with the Hubs is important because we don't get enough one-on-one time anymore with our separate commutes. When you're stuck in a car for a 90-minute drive, you talk. I'm looking forward to that. It may not improve my cardiovascular health, but it will be good for my heart.

On Saturday, we're going to try to move a bunch of sprinkler heads (first priority, because the irrigation water is turned on April 1st) and hopefully dig a trench along the west side of our property. We have some bamboo that will start to run in the next few years, and it can grow a foot a day at the height of its growth season. That's not fair to our neighbors, and we also don't want it taking over our yard. We're also putting the trench in the front yard to block the runners from the same neighbors' aspen tree. Fences may make good neighbors, but there's something to be said for a buried barrier.

So tonight I will get home and try to get some housework done so that it doesn't get away from me this weekend. Digging up the sprinkler heads is pretty easy, so I can do that without husband input. I may let him got pick up the trencher by himself while I run to the gym for a swim.

I still haven't gone for a walk at lunch. emoticon

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JOYCRN 3/10/2014 9:05PM

    That waterfall is stunningly gorgeous!

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Doing much better, thanks

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

I went to work yesterday. I went home within an hour. I was just weary and head-achy. There was nothing that required immediate attention, so I saw no reason to "tough it out." I ended up sleeping through most of the day, much to the delight of the Empress Dowager (Spike, our 10-year old cat).

I'm still keeping my diet simple, and I have to eat very slowly. I'm still on my first (and probably only) cup of coffee. I had a cup of coffee Sunday morning, and it was too much for my still-tender belly. The headache may be related to caffeine withdrawal.

I'm thirsty, but I can't guzzle. I have to sip slowly. I'll never catch up. To make it worse, my blood pressure is high enough that I should take a diuretic to bring it down; that may make me thirstier. (On the plus side, my body fat percentage went down overnight, so I'm at least a little better hydrated than I was yesterday.)

I made two pancakes, but I don't think I can the second one. Sunday, I ingested about 500 calories. Yesterday I made it to 1400. I can't keep this up, but at least I'm not doing anything to tax my body. I'd intended to ride my bike home today, but even I'm not so stubborn as to risk that.

I figure I'll start with something simple, like a walk at lunch. It's already warmer outside than it was all day yesterday (it's a little after 7 a.m. as I write this). The forecast for later in the week includes a high temp of 60F. Maybe that will be a good time to start riding again.

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LYNSEY723 3/5/2014 2:56PM

    I'm just catching up on blogs - I'm sorry to hear you were doing so bad, but happy to hear it is getting better! Keep listening to your body and get some more rest!

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HILLSLUG98239 3/4/2014 6:58PM

    Miss G - EXHALE WHEN YOU FEEL WATER COMING IN YOUR NOSE. Trust me, I'm going to be very diligent about that! emoticon

I think the problem was made far worse by the fact we were in the warmer, more utilized pool. Swim Coach Kathy pointed out it's human nature to sniff in when you you feel fluid in your nose (kinda like snot) when you need to blow it out. My next session in the pool may be entirely devoted to blowing air out of my nose.

Geez, with all this cold-weather bike riding and snot-rocket-launching I do, you'd think I'd be an expert at that!

And as far as the nose plugs go, here's why Swim Coach Kathy axed them: It's hard to get sufficient air transfer if you can't exhale through your nose. It really was easier to get the breathing down without them. And for us triathletes, it's best to practice as you're going to perform. Will your swim fall apart if your nose plugs get knocked off?

If you can swim with them and not panic if they're gone, go ahead and use them. The swim is such a challenge for me, and I'm only three months from my first triathlon. I fear that losing my nose plugs midway through the swim would doom me. But if you're comfortable either way, then do what works best for you.

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MISSG180 3/4/2014 6:44PM

    I'm sorry you were so sick, but glad to hear you are beginning to recover. You've made me very nervous about going back to the pool tomorrow, though!

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CAJUNGANNY 3/4/2014 10:44AM

    sounds like you need to continue to listen to your body. you know to keep up the pace, you have to take care of you, the rest will come. Hope you continue to feel better and keep the faith

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Lots of puking (Read at your own risk; preferably not while eating)

Sunday, March 02, 2014

The puking is over. I'm eating my second meal since Friday evening. This coffee tastes wonderful, but I'm having to sip it slowly. I want to chug it, but my belly can't handle a lot of fluid all at once.

My guess is that this all started in the pool. I got water up my nose, which I ended up swallowing. I have a new-found appreciation for the club's request that people shower before getting into the pool. emoticon We were in Pool 1, which is the family-oriented pool. It's shallower and warmer. Kids aren't allowed in Pool 2 except during swim team lessons. Pool 1 is also the pool used by the mentally & physically challenged folks. All told, Pool 1 gets lots more traffic, which increases the chances of some nasty poop-related bug being in the water. Add in the higher water temp and Kim spends her weekend puking.

As if the pain of getting chlorinated water in my sinuses wasn't enough motivation, I really need to work on blowing air out of my nose as soon as I feel water coming in. emoticon I really hate puking. My mom just finished a course of chemo therapy, so she's done plenty of puking. And I've know people who got dysentery. Weeks of puking and painful diarrhea? Taking chemo even though you know it means you're going to be puking like crazy? This reaffirms how lucky I am to have my health.

We're planning to go to church this morning. I'll probably skip the treats at coffee hour, though. I'm hungry, but I can only eat a little at a time. I'm tired, too. I slept most of yesterday, and I got about ten hours of sleep last night. There are a lot of things I need to do today, but I am not going to wear myself out.

I ordered some swim fins. I was stunned what a difference they made. Kathy (the swim coach) recommended I get a pair because they make it easier to keep good form while you're learning. They should be here in a few days. It may be a few more days before I'm willing to get back into the pool. The smell of chlorine makes me a little nauseous right now.

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EBRAINK 3/3/2014 9:36AM


For me, swallowing the chlorinated water would be enough to make me puke - rumor has it that when I was a wee kiddo one of my older sibs decided to teach me how to swim by throwing me into a hotel pool. I swallowed a lot of water while trying not to drown. Now, built in gag reflex at any swallowing of pool water. blurrrrrrrgh.

Hope you feel better.

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BOILHAM 3/2/2014 4:40PM

    Sorry about the stomach distress. Hope you are feeling well soon! Good luck with the swimming!

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My first swim lesson

Friday, February 28, 2014

First thing: no nose plugs. I could see the benefit immediately. It's easier to get your breathing down if you can exhale through your nose. The down side: Wow, it's weird when you're not used to it. Kathy, the swim coach, pointed out that I stopped "sniffing" about half way through the lesson. But man, did my sinuses hurt afterwards. They're really clean now, though.

Kathy was very complimentary. She said it's clear that I can swim: what I couldn't do it breathe. I'm glad to hear that. What it tells me is that if I keep working on this one, basic thing, I'm good to go. Kathy said that once I get comfortable with the breathing and that part of it becomes automatic, I'm going to get very good very fast. She said my form looks pretty good for someone who's never taken a swim lesson.

Kathy told me she doesn't think I need to buy a package of lessons. (I can pay for them one at a time, or I can buy a package of 6, 12, or 18 and save some money.) She recommended I get back in touch with her if I need more assistance, but she thinks I can get the basics down on my own.

She also said I'm "a natural athlete." No one has ever told me that before. I don't care if it was just good customer service, I'm keeping that close to my heart. I'm going to believe her. I am a natural athlete!

Okay, enough with the love fest: I ended feeling a little nauseous because of the amount of water I swallowed via my nose. And I felt really hungry, despite the fact I didn't work that hard. I stopped at Taco Bell (my one fast-food indulgence) and bought a fresco bean burrito with guacamole. 400 calories, and worth every one of those calories. And I'm proud of myself for only buying one. My head hurts a little bit from the chlorine in the water that made its way through my sinuses.

I'm not sure when I'll be able to get in the pool next. I'm looking forward to it!

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MISSG180 3/3/2014 6:59PM

    No nose plugs, huh?


I swam today, and when I got done I was thinking about getting nose plugs because I have been sneezing so much from the amount of water and chlorine that went up my nose.

Sounds like you are getting great instruction, though!

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APONI_KB 3/2/2014 8:38AM


I really like swimming.

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EBRAINK 3/1/2014 1:50PM

    Woohooo! Congratulations on being a natural athlete!

And yes, I can see where you'd advance quickly, once you get that breathing thing down. Fearless, you are. Unstoppable!

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JOYCRN 3/1/2014 9:07AM

    I am glad that you found a swim instructor as nice as mine! I have learned that there is always something to tweak to get faster.

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  Great job, you Natural Athlete, you! emoticon

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Embracing the Cold: Attitude is (almost) Everything!

Monday, February 24, 2014

I made the switch to Vibram Five Fingers shoes a little over year ago. One the most frequent questions I get is, "Aren't your feet cold?" The answer is often, "Yes, but it doesn't bother me anymore." A few people have rejected the idea of the shoes outright because of the cold. The people I know better, whom I know are willing to listen to me talk about why the cold doesn't bother me anymore, get the rest of the story.

I do not like cold feet. I have CPT - Congenital Popsicle Toes. I was born with cold feet. In the winter, the heat vents in my car are almost always pointed at my feet. I can live with cold air on the rest of my body, but my feet want warmth.

The VFF can be worn with socks, and when it's below 40F, I'll wear the socks. Because water goes right through the shoes, I don't wear them when the ground is wet. (The socks are not enough to keep my toes warm when the shoes get wet.)

The bigger deal is that I came to a place of comfort with the cold. I don't enjoy it, but I learned it won't harm me in most circumstances. In most cases, it is merely uncomfortable. Discomfort is not pain. I am not so frail that mere discomfort will keep me in the house, away from the elements.

There are limits to this, but in most cases, I just get out there and do my workout. Today, I ran while it was windy and hailing. Yes, my hands were cold. My face was pretty cold, too. But I was in no danger of frostbite, and I was only outside for about a half-hour.

If the cold causes me pain, it is no longer a mere discomfort. When it is extremely cold, I stay within several blocks of the house or my office so that I can get back to warmth and safety quickly. I'm not nuts. I frequently find that while I am quite cold, it doesn't bother me.

I know this doesn't work for everyone. I do not have a neurological condition that makes working out in the cold impossible or even unwise. I am careful to keep parts that need to stay warm warm: I wear compression shorts if I'm running in cold weather, and I always have some sort of wind barrier on while riding in cold weather. I know how dangerous hypothermia is, and I have no intention of risking getting it. But for me, it works.

Now if I could convince my hot-house-flower of a husband that cold won't kill him...

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HILLSLUG98239 2/26/2014 11:50AM

    Ice would be a deal-breaker for me, too. When I lived in Spokane, I would run in the snow. but not if there was a layer of ice under the snow - too risky for my ligaments!

I live in a really dry climate - we average 8" of precipitation a year. We get black ice on the road, and we get freezing rains, but the ice doesn't stick around very long. We also average 300 days of sunshine a year, and even in the winter the sun will melt ice off the pavement.

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MISSG180 2/26/2014 10:18AM

    I am not averse to cold so much as I am terrified of slipping on the ice. Once it gets above freezing here long enough to get rid of the ice, I will be out there running!

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EBRAINK 2/26/2014 9:14AM

    I've been dreaming about running outside - which I take to mean that I'm hitting my limit on the treadmill. And I mean literally, dreaming - I've been running in my dreams. I do not, as far as I know, wiggle my feet and whimper like the dogs when they chase dream bunnies. But it it still too cold for me to run outside, so I haven't managed to embrace the cold yet. Maybe in a couple of weeks...I hope!

I have VFFs, too - they never caused me blister problems, but the dude at the running store fit me pretty carefully, to be sure they didn't pinch or rub. It turned out I wear the mens' model instead of the women's, which made a difference for me. I've since switched to Merrell's barefoot line for running, and use the VFFs for when I'm doing my other workouts (usually kettlebells and weights). I feel like they give me a firmer footing than other sneakers.

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MNCYCLIST 2/25/2014 7:40AM

    I love the CPT thing, funny!

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IMLOCOLINDA 2/25/2014 2:47AM

    I don't mind the cold. It's often below zero here at night during the winter months...it's the heat and humidity I can't tolerate!! If I'm not barefoot (or foot-naked as my Lebanese neighbors call it!!) I am in VFF's. People have always thought I was a weirdo so I don't even bother to explain!

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HILLSLUG98239 2/25/2014 12:05AM

    I had zero problems with my VFFs. Have you tried a product like Body Glide in the area where you got blisters?

When people are curious, I always recommend they buy their first pair at a place like REI. If you don't like them, REI will take them back. These shoes aren't for everyone, and it's kind of nice having the freedom to return them.

Because of the way water gets into them, I switched to a very-low-drop (if not zero) Asics shoe, I'm really happy with them. But they cannot replicate the joy of running through the grass in VFFs - it's just like being barefoot, but with the freedom of not thinking about what I might have stepped in.

Thanks for the cheers. I always figure people think I'm unstable and dangerous, and they're just smiling for fear I'll "go off" at the slightest provocation.

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LYNSEY723 2/24/2014 8:34PM

    I too have the Vibram shoes, but I wore them once and they started to cause blisters on my heel and then I gave up. I need to pull them out of the closet again but I have yet to find a good time to see if I can break those things in! Did you have any issues like that?

Also, way to go with working out in the cold! I silently cheer people on when they are exercising in conditions that I won't... not that it takes much for me to stay at home on the treadmill....


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